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Infinity Questions

Date: 28 Apr 1995 23:37:43 -0400
From: G.M. Laurence
Subject: Dr. Math

Dr. Math,

Is there a bigger number than infinity? What is infinity times infinity?

Lee Lanteigne, 10,  in Mr. Laurence's Grade 4 class at Simcoe St. School

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Date: 29 Apr 1995 11:13:43 -0400
From: Dr. Ken
Subject: Re: Dr. Math

Hello there!

One important thing to keep in mind about infinity is that it's not really 
a number, it's something else.  It's a concept that means "something bigger
than all numbers."  So there are no numbers bigger than infinity, but that
DOESN'T mean that infinity is the biggest number, because it's not a number
at all.  In fact, there is no biggest number, because if you think you've
got it, you can always add one, and you've got something bigger.

Since infinity isn't really a number, it doesn't always make much sense to
multiply it by things, but we can think about doing it anyway.  We can say
that infinity x infinity = infinity, and keep in mind that we're being a
little bit sneaky to even talk about multiplication like that.

Thanks for the questions!

-Ken "Dr." Math
Associated Topics:
Elementary Infinity

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